A lovely book by Shivya Nath. These days I am reading her. What impresses me is her language, her choice of words. The way she narrates her travel story, her journey from being a homely Indian Girl to the Global Girl she is now, touches my heart deeply. I tried to put off that book and start working on mine, but there is a little whisper at the back of my mind which lures me back to read it and by the time I realise, I am already deeply immersed in that book of hers. Her style is so expressive that it makes one experience the feelings she is going through. When the adrenalin running through her veins; circulates in yours, you cannot make out.
Through her writing you can feel the cool breeze rubbing your cheeks. The night sky of the places she’s been to comes alive in your memories. Her fear, her confusion and her anxiety all become your personal experience. Her agony, her joy her friends and above all her experience with the people she met through her journey and people on her personal upfront all seem acquainted to you.
I never found any memoir so inspiring and intriguing that made me cry, cry for the life I am missing, the way I wanted to be. This particular book made me realise that I have wasted my half life doing nothing apart from washing laundry, cooking meals and dusting the cob-webs. No, I am not blaming this book about making me cry but praising it to make me accept the small voice of my heart. From past few months I am longing to lead a nomadic life, somewhere deep inside the far off places. The places which are not yet been explored call me. From the age of adolescent, I’ve been touring places. But I now realise that I don’t want to be a tourist. Actually my heart aches for wandering. I want to be a traveller in the real sense and not merely a tourist.
`The Shooting Stars’ engulfs me so much that at the point I am craving for getting back what my soul is searching for. Infect, I want my life to end up soon and I be born as a wander or have the opportunity to lead a free life.
I want to scale the high mountains, run in the valleys, breathe in the fresh air. I want to feel the nature embracing me. I want the sea waves to giggle under my feet, the warm sand and wind slapping against my face. The rain drops drenching me to the core of my soul and quench my thirst.
There is so much that I have not done and it pricks like a thorn in my heart but the time is not over yet. I still am breathing and walking so I have decided to make up for the lost time. May be I cannot climb summits or paraglide but still I can travel to new places and at least try to track some of the mounts. Meet people who are not yet civilised go, deep in the heart of my country. Learn from the nature sleep under the open sky counting My Shooting Stars!
Gosh..! Seems ages passed and I was like…Looking for something which had some meaning or atleast resonated with what I feel…and today at this time … 10.38 pm on 23rd Jan 21, I saw … a word which had every emotion I go through. …Thantophobia.
Since my childhood I’ve always hidden my actual feelings just in case If they are known, my loved ones will be dead or leave me alone. Some incidents in my childhood and early teens, confirmed it. And today I still struggle with the same fear. I have a feeling that I am still being haunted by it. May be its true, the fear. Though I am trying to overcome it but Time pushes my efforts back everytime and confirms that my fears are true.
Aah! Finally I managed to get out of the busy house life for a few days.
After 9 long months of self quarantine and social distancing I managed to convince my hubby darling to take us out.
The place he selected is my favorite outing spot. Far from the chaos of city life, it’s surrounded by nature and is the country area. The place where we stayed is in mid of the fields. Not far from it, lies forest and hills. There are many historical and mythological sites nearby.
Few of them I will share with you in my posts’ Vikharabad Series’. Today in intro, I will show you merely the place where we stayed and its surroundings.
The resort itself is rustic. Dotted with themed tents, reception area and the decorations. The food is simple yet tasty. It is named as ‘ The Grass Walk’. It is built atop of a Highland, from where you can see the surrounding easily.
In winters its chilling in nights but the camp fire is organised by the owners on your demand. The tent I choose is East facing, so that when I wake up I can see the rising sun, the first thing in the morning. Apart from that, there is a private small patio like space provided with every tent which overlooks nearby fields and has thick trees. The mornings are like lifetime experience. I love drinking my morning coffee sitting there observing the serenity. The calmness and the chirping of the birds takes over your worries. Once you merge with the nature, you will not want to return to your chaotic life, ever again.
The long walks or tracking on the hilly forest takes you to another world. You have some extraordinary experiences. You just can’t explain them in words.
I am sure, when you return from there, you will leave, a part of you, behind. The impressions won’t go away. Just imagine, you waking up to the sound of peacocks, sparrows, tailorbirds, quails and many other kind of birds which are now extinct in the city. Not far from the place, is a stream flowing which you cross everytime you go for a stroll or walk or even for tracking. You can even observe a part of rural life and how the farmers work in their farms.
Dinner was a beautiful experience. Sitting out on the patio, shivering with cold, children covering themselves with blankets and eating our hot dinner, listening to the sound of crickets, and strange sounds of farmers who stayed back to look after their crops from the deers and stags, antelopes etc. which came out from the nearing forest.
Summers are engaging as well. The patio evenings are marvellous. Just sit in the quiet, sipping your cold coffee and observing the nature, people and green hills in the distance. For dinner you can ask them to serve on the scaffolding. They even provide a night stay on it. With transparent roof and transparent curtain in front and the sunrise from there is best with the vast fields visible.
In my next post of this series I will take you on tracking to a view point.
Pink city, the wold knows it better by this name instead of Jaipur or Jaypore. It is one of the largest cities of Rajasthan. Home to many forts and fortresses. The city has many stories to tell but the one I am going to share is of love, lust, conspiracies and loyalty, loyalty to kingdom and loyalty to love.
Keeping My point of view.
There are many versions making rounds and I will tell you all. But before that I want to put forward my point of view regarding such incidents in history. May be these points are still prevailing in society as political and influential tie-ups are in existence. And the point is that when a nuptial tie was made it was more for the financial and strategic benefits of the kingdom rather than the personal feelings. Thus occurred many unmatched marriages with many princesses and when the groom didn’t find the peace and love he looked for in his All wives he searched for it in the concubines and thus increasing the number of married and unmarried wives. And if by chance the king got the chance to marry his love, then also the strategic and financial pressure was there because of which he had to marry other processes also. This gave birth to polygamy and conspiracy. Many kingdoms have fallen down due to this reason alone.
Raskapur-Jaipur’s own Noor Jahan
Well, now I come back to the story I initially intended to tell. You can call it the story of Jaipur’s own Noor Jahan. She was born of a court dancer, whose father side was doubtful. She was beautiful, fair and talented girl, thus named Raskapur or Ras Kapoor. Kapoor (camphor) is here a symbol of fragrance in the form of talks of her beauty and talent making rounds in the city.
There used to be different departments in the then kingdom of Jaipur, each related to respected chore of the erstwhile estate. Among these was the ‘guni-khana'(department for skills, arts and talents) where she learned dancing under Paro begum.
She performed in many programs and danced her way to the Royal Court. Where she came in the eyes of the king, Sawai Maharaja Jagat Singh, who fell for her and thus began their doomed love story. She even called as Anarkali of Jaipur.
The king was already married to 21 queens and had 24 concubines but he gave his heart to only one, Raskapur. Who remained with him till his last breath.
They say, you can kill a person but you cannot kill the love one feels for someone, same was the story.
Titles to Raskapur
After she first entered court as a dancer, she was bestowed with two titles out of which of utmost importance was ‘Paswan‘ which meant ‘Close to‘ , in other words she was not the queen but close to the king and exercised same power over the king as the married queens. In some cases the power if ‘ Paswan‘ overpowered the queen’s authority. Same happened here to. Maharaja Jagat Singh found his soul mate in her and on his birthay he gave away his half kingdom, pothikhana(administration department) and one more important department to her. This gave her the right to sit in the court right beside the king on throne. She started to govern and make decisions regarding feudals, and their kingdoms. Maharaja even took her to the public gatherings on festivals along with him, on the elephant.
He had given up the social rules and regulations and didn’t feel awkward in showing off his relation with a concubine. He made a separate palace, ‘Ras Vilas Palace’ for her near ‘Chandra Mahal‘, the abode of Royal family. It is said that she had some differences with one of the queen’s and was asked to leave the palace and thus she came to live in her own palace.
Between all this, The then Maharana of Mewar sent the proposal of his daughter Krishna Kumari to Maharaja Swai Jagat Singh, to which he didn’t agree but it is said that, it was Raskapur who talked him to say yes to the alliance, sighting the strategic importance of the marriage alliance.
But actually, the facts are, the Mewar princess was first engaged to Marwar Maharaja and this sudden change in equation upset him. He stopped the Procession on the way to Jaipur, in his kingdom. Feeling insulted by this, Jagat Singh prepared his army and attacked on Marwar. The Pindar chief, Amir Khan of Jhotwara took the golden opportunity to attack Jaipur. This turn table situation made him come back to Jaipur.
Different views on the end of the story
It is said that when Jagat Singh came back, the courtiers, Feudals and queens( who already were jealous of Raskapur) conspired against Raskapur and got her sentenced to prison. And from here the various views of the painful ending of a lovestory, which bloomed against all odds and under the shadows of swords and conspiracy came to an end.
One view says, that when the Maharaja was busy fighting Pindaris, his ministers and queens got her killed, in the Nahargarh fort, where she was kept prisioner. She was thrown out of the window of the room and as the fort is built on the oldest mountain range, Aravali, she fell down to her death and when the king came to know of her demise he was so heart broken that within a year he died.
The other lore goes something like this, when the king was fighting, he got injured and later died. His last rites were being performed at the Royal funeral grounds, Gaitore. Raskapoor on hearing this, disguised herself as someone else and crossed the fort gates and reached the funeral ground and on watching the pyre on which Jagat Singh’s body was burning, she took a leap and jumped into it and burned alive with her love of life.
The third opinion is, when the Maharaja returned from war, the whole court, Feudals and the queens convinced him to sentence her to lifetime imprisonment on the self created proofs and stories of her mistrust, disloyalty and conspiracy to kill the Maharaja. Both were eagerly waiting to get the chance to meet. Meanwhile, the British made an ally with Jagat Singh, which gave small time relief to him from the neighbouring kingdoms but it was short lived as the conspirators were active knowing Maharaja’s inclination towards Raskapur. They killed him and when this news reached Raskapur she tried her best to get out of the Nahargarh fort and was able to convince one of the Feudal king, who was responsible olfor her upkeep in the prison. Then on his guarantee she was allowed to leave the prision on a promise that she will come back. But as soon as she reached the funeral grounds, she was taken back by the sight of her love burning on the pyre. The next moment, taking everyone by surprise, she jumped in the fire. The bodies burnt away leaving behind the hatred and politics, to be together in the eternal journey.
Thus this was the end of Jagat Singh’s short reign from 1803 to 1818 and he died young at the age of 32. He is known as the notorious king of Jaipur. It is said that Nahargarh fort is haunted by her ghost. And some say its haunted bit by couple of other ghosts. But that is another story.
Will come back with a short account of Jaipur and Jodhpur clash story because of Krishna Kumari. Ofcourse I have my point there also about woman converted to commodity. But as I said that’s another story. If you all like this one, I will come up with next one.
Recently found out about commonplace book and was confused about what it was and on researching about it got even more confused! Why? Because it is so similar to writers notebook.
May be not exactly, but so much similarities are present, one such similarity is, commonplace book is not a diary or a travelogue, alike the writers notebook. After this I searched even more about it and found out, that there is one for writers, called writer’s commonplace book. And here I go again. When looking into what one can write in it, I was surprised to see the same topics as writers notebook. Where I was keen, on first finding it, to start my own commonplace book but after knowing what all goes in there, I finally dropped the idea of starting it. Now, further talking about it, I found out where there is commonplace journal also where notes and quotes from our readings are kept.
One more thing which is cleared to me now, after searching about commonplace book is that you make or write notes about the book or whatever you are reading so that you might utilise it when needed so going by the definition, I am already doing this commonplace book thing before coming to know about it. But the Idea as a whole is very fascinating. I may start it in near future when one of my writers notebook is over. On the second thoughts I might start one for reading and recording my development as I have to start reading more extensively again.
Please, you all out there, my friends whoever has any idea about this commonplace book please do share with me so that I can get more elaborated knowledge on it.
After going through lot of havoc and mental tension I finally sorted out my writing plan.
I actually, for the first time wrote downmy writing schedule and believe me it is so easy to chalk out everything after following the plan.
Infact, I found two topics to write down in my non-fiction category. I am overjoyed with this development. It is giving me time for so many other things. I am well organized for the first time and guess what? I am loving this change. I am getting time to read, I am getting time to work upon my two projects. One is done with first stage, the other is going on through the brain storming.
I have planned out my writing schedule for next full week. After completing this week I will start with another and before that week is over I will chalk out the plan for coming next two weeks.
For planning I have started a new planner in the brand new diary. For the other writing exercises and pointing the stories or blogs I am using another diary, i have cute spirals and another simple note book as writer’s note book. I tried to understand the concept of journal but found it too confusing so never started one but some activities are carried on in these already existing notebooks.
Fair out first draft.
Recently I completed my book’s fair copy, I mean wrote down the scattered ideas into one place and now gathering up my strength to punch the keys for drafting it. For now, I am not thinking far from this point, in the development of the book. I will take one step at a time.
As I am organized and settled now, I have too many ideas boiling up in my mind to be shared. Each wants it’s own share of space. There are stories behind every topic and every word I have stored up. My changing writing place wants to tell you it’s own story. My planning of vlogs and podcasts about writing want to be familiar with you all.
New platforms to share.
I have reorganized my Pinterest business account also and there I am getting so much of input. Quora is too a good option as a help in writing, this I have understood in last few weeks. But I am still struggling to settle down in Stumbleupon (mix) and Bloglovin. I hope, will be able to use them to my benefit soon.
In the End…
There is more to share with you all about my progress but not in this post. It already has become too big.
Year 1995. June. Place Jim Corbett National Park. Time: 11:00 AM
We headed for breakfast, towards a small restaurant in the Ram Nagar santuary guest house.
The place was small but very luxurious for the government unit, it had a library and an amp hi theater apart from the restaurant. There was a ‘machan’ built on a tree near by our apartment and it was near the boundary surrounding the guest house. Few meters away from this tree, there was a stage like structure built about the height of a single story. It was for climbing the elephant.
So, we stood in a que near the stairs to go up and waited for our turn. After about fifteen minutes or so, we climbed the stage and we’re asked to climb the elephant in another five minutes. We all sat on same elephant.
The moment it started to move, it was an experience for lifetime. A wonderful memory to store. The way it swinged while it moved forward gave goosebumps that made me giggle. The ‘mahavat’ asked me to be quiet as we were on the safari and that too for tiger watching, so being quiet and still was for most requirement.
The elephant took us on a trail filled with excitement for both elders and children equally, through the deep jungle. Sometimes, patches of grassland emerged between the huge and dense trees where the grass was at the height of four to four and a half feet. The ‘mahavat’ said here the danger lurks hidden in the grasses, for the elephants carrying the tourists as last month same time a tiger attacked and elephant twice but the courageous elephant defeated the beast and took the tourists back safely. But the tourists were so afraid that even though they were grown ups, they literally did shit n their pants and the lady with them started cry and fainted.
On listening to this incident, we were not afraid but our curiosity increased to another level, specially for us children. From those lurking open grass lands we moved to shaded grassland spots and at a distance we saw a herd of deers. Moving ahead say for a half meter we saw some wild boars and at a place we saw a fawn and mamma deer fondling. This was the time, when all the childhood stories came tumbling forward to my mind from a deep slumber. It gave a different feeling, say, sort of nostalgia. How and where they lived and may be their homes were hidden somewhere in the deep jungle. In my mind at that time, the homes of the animals were same like depicted in the comic books. From there we moved in more deper part of the jungle.
At a distant part of the jungle we heard some particular type of whistling and at the same time the ‘mahavat’ got excited and asked us to be alert. He asked us to keep looking around carefully as we could get to see the big cat anytime now. I was so excited that I chuckled and told my baby brother how it would be a privilege to see it. Papa glowed at me signaling to be quiet. My brother was sitting in front between my parents, just behind the ‘mahavat’, then sat my uncle and behind him sat aunt and me. We both sat adjacent to each other.
The ‘mahavat’ started to speed up the elephant and it literally started to walk briskly. From opposite came another elephant, carrying another sat of tourists but it was running in different direction so our ‘mahavat’ asked theirs, which direction? He pointed to the left behind us. And next moment, without loosing a second our elephant was turning back. Then it traced back the track from where we came, up to five hundred meters and then took another track and continued to walk in the direction of the whistling sound with that another elephant following us.
After reaching to spot between big trees and dense shrubs, I saw two or three more elephants standing in a circle and all tourists were pointing in a direction and bustling with excitement. I could not understand what was the matter. My brother was overexcited but still I didn’t get the point. And was busy figuring out what’s the reason, looking around and between the bushes. It was then that papa said there was lion, lying in its full majesty and giving us the chance to admire his beauty and charisma. In all the people, I think I was alone who could not get even the glimpse of it and told so to papa. The ‘mahavat’ then faced the elephant in the opposite direction so that me and aunty now faced the spot. Aunty was like oh my god! What a beauty. And me? I was like what, where and what the all fuss is about. I was looking around in all the directions except where I should actually be watching. Annoyingly mom told me to look down.
That was the moment. A moment of pride, a moment of thrill. Some feet below me, just meter away, lying there was a fifteen feet magnificent tiger. In its full glory he stretched like a mighty king, who seemed to be resting after a good kill and letting the admirers take a look. It seemed less bothered about all of us. I was all awestruck with its beauty, strength and stealth. I was so lost in my admiration of it that I forgot to take a picture. That massiveness of flesh and bones, raised its head just once to look at us and then waved its tail in a motion to flew off the flies and then went back to sleep. It seemed the tiger was telling his intruders to leave.
Taking the sign we turned back an left. On our way back to guesthouse, we met couple of safari elephants on their way to tiger trail but we later came to know others were not as lucky as us to have even a glimpse of tiger. Our ‘ mahavat’ asked for “tip” as a token for showing the tiger. Even other two ‘mahavats’ who returned empty handed, wanted some “tip” as we saw the tiger.
At lunch, everyone was talking about the sighting of tiger but no one knew who saw. It was then, someone at the reception asked the manager, and he pointed towards me ( I was standing near reception area to take some mouth freshners, after lunch) and then the loads of congratulations poured in over our group.
That day and incident are graved in my memory like it happened yesterday, in its full vibrancy and details.
I lived in a big ancestral house I used to call home and have splendid memories of my childhood , if not detailed. Of playing with cousins and friends, children of tenants. I lived with my grand parents, uncles and aunts along with my parents and brother. Though have not been to the place since long, may be from the year 1995. The thread or the rope tying me to it might have weaken but still a weak strand still tugs deep at the heart.
It’s a fine evening. Me and my husband are sitting in our 5th floor terrace garden having coffee. Rain is falling and cool gentle breeze is flowing.’ I don’t know why but every time I see my home in dreams since leaving it back then, it seems quiet and lonely. It’s calling me infact pulling me. When we are next in my home town, we are going to visit.’ ‘Who do you think will welcome you there. Why don’t you understand this point my love, there’s no one now’ he is putting his point but what he doesn’t know is I am going through a strong pull since years and this is high time that I should visit. Well, the good news is now after half an hour he has given in.
I am packing up my bags. Hurrah! We are going to my home town tomorrow with children. Actually the domestic flights are open now so it will be quick annual summer vacation trip. ‘ Hello. Bhaiya, we are coming. Just for few days like a change of atmosphere’
We are in my home town. ‘ mmmm…haaa.’ There, my brother is standing in the parking lot. We are driven to a camp. Here we are staying for 5 days. It’s actually a nice guest house where we are putting up but it’s not costly. Only concern is about children. How will they cope.
Today is the second day and children are already exhausted. They are draining my energy too. May be to some of you it might seem a wrong decision but believe me, they are completely safe here as the place we are in, is not used as camp, before us and we got this because of my brother’s connection with the health team and the police staff present at the airport.
This is fourth day. Yesterday it was very boring. I scolded kids because they were shouting and running in the gallery. This all is because we are the only ones in this guest house till now. No new upturns. My husband has kept himself busy in his script writing work. He puts on his headphones and dives into his thoughts. So yesterday was no different from past two days, on his front. Today, after lunch I have asked the manager of the guest house to let me peep out of the window if possible as I am cluster phobic and the situation is taking on my nerves. Out of pity, he allows a brief moment to look out side. Me and the children are clinging to the window. They are pressing so hard as if they will go out through the mash of the windowpane.
Well today is the last day. Finally tomorrow we are going home. I mean to my brother’s place. At last we will be out in the open air. Today I am late in making the entry as children had the phone to make video calls to their grand parents back home and to their cousin, my brother’s son.
We are having dinner. The current is out but they have a generator here, so no problem. I am done with the dinner and want rest of the three to finish off soon so we can call for the night early. Naturally, next day will come early. Don’t they say,” early to bed early to rise, makes a good person.” In my case it will be free from isolation.
Here is my brother with his MUV, to pick us up. ‘We will be home in not more then five to ten minutes’ he is telling my husband. ‘Well, bhaiya we are here for a very short stay. Hope we don’t bother you much. It’s all your sister’s stubborn idea.’ My hubby is looking at me while saying so. ‘ I can understand that very well. She is like this since beginning.’ Now my brother is winking at me. Both the children are laughing. They are enjoying my leg pulling. Naughty children.
Here we are at my home. Yes still I call it as my home too, because it’s my papa maa’ s home. Brother says till he is alive I can call it and feel it as my home. Because we are one.
Today is the day when I am going to enter this ancestral home after twenty five years appropriately. The bushes and shrubs have grown here so wild. I am shocked. ‘ care taker, our distant relative has passed away ages ago. His mother and family stayed here but now the mother is also not alive. Only the wife and her sons are here.’ My brother is telling my husband. ‘ she seems too busy in her life. But what about her sons? Why dont they take care?’ My hubby is asking.
We entered the house. My heart throbbing as fast Express mail. Crushing and pressing the wild bushes and shrubs we are making our way. This is the first yard with all the garage and houses and a small factory built for the tenants, I am telling my children and hubby. ‘Look that is the entrance to the farm, where we had cows, buffaloes and farming land.’ My brother is showing kids.
From here we are entering this big gate. The first one to the main building but it leads to the small yard, where on one side old rooms built for the estate staff are there which were later converted to parking and other side had a small area surrounded by brick wall and a small entrance to the berry garden. This all is dried. Nothing is here. From here we cross another small entrance which has a wall in front of it with a small window. Now this is also crumbling. Twisting and turning I am entering the third yard where on the front of it we had our rooms, the second section. I am moving towards the area where caretaker’s family is living. But I think they are either sleeping or out of the house as cannot see them.
Leaving the place I turn back to the main stair cases. One takes to my elder uncle’s portion and the other one takes to the main building. I take this one and taking one step at a time climb to the final entrance. From here I turned back to look at others. They are coming right behind me and are at the bottom of the steps.
I am now standing in the big courtyard. To my left is a veranda and rooms of my grand parents. And small granary opposite to which, means slightly opposite to me is the old kitchen. Adjacent to it and opposite me is a small room, for my great grand mother and in front of me is her veranda. I was looking at fallen gazebo between granary and kitchen.
A light streak of smoke is coming out of the kitchen and I am moving towards it. I am standing at the kitchen door and opening the mash door. The scene inside took my breath away. Sitting there is the maid who was nanny to my elder uncle and used to cook for the family with a group of house helps and maids. I am not able to believe because she is dead ages ago. She cannot be here, not at any cost. She is giving me a look, as if saying you have come at the right time. Have lunch. ‘Screech’ and I am startled. Then hoping to see my kids, hubby and brother, who might have opened the door to grand parents room, I am half dead to see my cousin who died young. I am having goosebumps and it is a hair raising experience. He is smiling and signalling me to come over. I am in a trance I think. My legs are moving towards him. At the door I stop and I can see my grand parents sitting there with the lunch served and they are about to eat and I interrupted. They are now looking at me. My grand ma is scolding,’late as usual’ but grand pa is smiling the loveliest smile ever. He has softness in his old eyes. ‘But how could you be here. All of you. You’re gone long back and you- you cannot come back!’ ‘ Then go back to your room’ grand ma said,’ across small veranda.’
I am taking swift strides. It’s like gliding. Or floating in the air a few inches above the floor. I am crossing the small veranda or my great grand mother’s room and veranda. I am bending down to exit when I hear some whispering from behind. I am trying to hear but all I can make out is whispering of two or at most three old ladies, from great grand ma’s room. As if rest of the house maids were trying to give her a bath as she is paralysed.I am not able to take all this. I am trying to run away but all I can do is go forward.
This is my room. The wooden door is open but the old mesh door outside is ajar. This is the room I have been dreaming of since left visiting the house. I didn’t mention till now, that whenever I had it in my dreams I fell ill. It always used to pull me in and never let me out. It used to shake and tumble but today here I am, standing in front of it. Inert. Again my hair while mentioning the past dreams, raising.
I am opening the mash door by the handle. Still I am freezed. I don’t have the guts to peep inside. I am still standing at the door, half open. I don’t know what’s in there. Why I am so afraid of this room where I have lived from birth to teen age and have returned to it many times in young days till last of the family members lived here and vaccated in 1995. What if it locks me inside in real. With all these thoughts going on in my mind and heart thumping in my mouth I am entering the room. And here I get the shock of my life. I cannot breathe now. It is so gloomy here. As if the opening door has let out the years of loneliness, it has suffered. And in front of one of the two windows facing private court yard of my room till now where I was standing sitting here for lunch are long gone Maa Papa. On the centre table there are three plates. Two served one empty. Papa is looking happy to see me and maa is serving food in the third plate.’ Come. Why so late?’ And she is looking at me with maternal love. I am blank. Maa Papa… really? Am I dead or my life till now is a delusion.